A freezer packed with pounds of ground venison is a beautiful thing. However, if you find yourself in a culinary rut and need some fresh meal inspiration, explore this diverse collection of recipes designed specifically for ground venison!
In this list, you'll find my best ground venison recipes for every meal of the day. If you've been repeatedly preparing the same recipes, you'll be astonished by the versatility of ground venison showcased in this list of recipes!
A Note on Fat:
Venison most commonly refers to deer meat but can also include other wild game animals such as elk, moose, pronghorn (antelope), etc. You can use any ground red wild game meat you have on hand for these recipes. Most of these recipes were written for ground meat without added fat.
I often use pork lard in my recipes to cook with because it adds the animal fat richness that pure ground venison is lacking. However, you may choose to use your favorite cooking fats and potentially less of them depending on how much fat is in your ground venison. If your meat came from a processor, it likely has 10-20% fat added in unless you requested otherwise. No matter the fat content of your ground meat, you're sure to find your new favorite ground venison recipes in this list!
A package of ground venison is the perfect base for any family dinner. While I enjoy full days in the kitchen on the weekends, sometimes you need an easy recipe for busy weeknights. See below for a few of our family favorites!
Burgers and Sandwiches:
A classic burger is always a satisfying meal for lunch or dinner. Here, you'll find some creative variations of the traditional burger, as well as a couple of alternative sandwich ideas!
Ground venison for breakfast? Yes, really! Ground deer meat makes excellent breakfast sausage. Try it out in the recipes below!
These are the recipes to turn to when you're looking to elevate your culinary game, make a lasting impression, or simply savor an exceptional meal.
What is Ground Venison?
Ground venison is a type of meat that is derived from wild game animals. Venison most commonly refers to deer meat but also encompasses a wider range of animals like elk, moose, pronghorn (antelope), etc.
Here's a summary of key points about ground venison:
- Flavor Profile: Ground venison has a robust, earthy flavor. People often describe it as having a slightly sweet and sometimes "gamey" taste, which can vary depending on the animal's diet and age.
- Versatile: You can use ground venison in various recipes, including tacos, burgers, meatballs, soups, and more, showcasing its high versatility. It can be a flavorful substitute for ground beef or ground pork in many dishes.
- Cooking Considerations: When cooking ground venison, it's essential to handle it with care due to its low fat content. Adding fat can enhance the flavor and prevent the meat from drying out.
- Nutrition: People know venison for its exceptional leanness and low-fat content when compared to other meats like beef and pork. It is an excellent source of protein and is also packed with nutrients like iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
In summary, ground venison is a lean and flavorful meat wild game meat sourced from several wild animals, valued for its nutritional benefits and versatility in cooking. It provides a distinctive taste and also suits various dishes.
You can eat it for every meal of the day from hearty biscuits and gravy for breakfast to meatball subs for lunch to shepherd's pie for dinner. No matter how you choose to cook it, you'll never run out of ground venison recipe ideas with this list!
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Ground Venison FAQ's:
Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to add anything to your ground venison. Pure ground venison cooks up great with a little cooking fat like pork lard. However, many people like to add fattier cuts of meat or pure animal fat to their ground venison to enhance the taste and spread their venison out into more meals. Pork shoulder, pork fatback, beef chuck roast, beef fat, and bacon ends are all popular choices. If you're going to add fat to your ground venison, 10-20% by weight is usually sufficient.
You can cook ground venison similarly to ground beef, but exercise caution due to its low fat content. With very little fat, it can overcook quickly. Cooking ground venison in high moisture dishes like sloppy joes or sausage and gnocchi soup keeps the meat from drying out. You should cook ground venison to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
Ground venison has a similar meaty taste to ground beef but is leaner, earthier, and somewhat sweeter.
Venison's robust flavor can be an acquired taste; those accustomed to beef and pork may not always appreciate it. However, adding fat from pork or beef can help enhance the taste of venison. Using it in heavily spiced dishes or mixing it with other ingredients can also help mellow out the flavor of venison.
You can cook venison with a wide variety of ingredients, making it a very versatile meat. You can use venison in various ways, from preparing classic steaks with garlic and thyme to incorporating Middle Eastern flavors in kofta, Italian sausage, tacos, and more.
Some refer to the taste of venison as being "gamey." This refers to the stronger, earthy flavor that often accompanies wild game meats. Thawing venison in a paper towel-lined bowl helps remove myoglobin (the red liquid that comes out of meat when it thaws). This can help remove some of the off flavors found in wild game meat. Additionally, cooling meat as quickly as possible and keeping it cool during processing can help keep off-flavors to a minimum.